U.S. military installations are no longer allowing visitors to gain base access using official ID cards from five states -- and other installations may soon follow.
State-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards from Illinois, New Mexico, Missouri, Washington and Minnesota can no longer be used to obtain a visitor’s pass because those cards don’t comply with federal standards, officials said. DoD officials did not say whether or not enhanced driver's licenses (EDL) from Minnesota or Washington would still be accepted.
Guidance has already been issued by such installations as Fort Bragg in North Carolina, White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, Fort Drum in New York, Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri and Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.
"Effective immediately, residents of these five states can no longer use their driver’s license to get a visitor’s pass," Tom McCollum, a Fort Bragg spokesman said in a release today. "Driver's licenses and identification cards issued by these states cannot be used to access not just Fort Bragg, but all federal facilities, to include other military installations."
The changes impact visitors who are attempting to secure a visitor’s pass to the bases using one of the non-compliant state ID cards. Visitors who are accompanied in the vehicle by a Defense Department card holder can continue to access the installations using any state’s driver’s license, officials said.
A spokesman at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, said officials there received guidance from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, or OSD, but were still reviewing it. Washington state driver’s licenses are among those on the no-acceptance list. Washington state is home to six major military bases.
“We received the notification from OSD about the changes, and our installation access division is reviewing those requirements to determine what course of action we need to do to be in compliance,” said Joe Piek, a base spokesman. “Right now there is no change to our installation access requirements but they are being reviewed.”
At issue is state compliance with the 2005 REAL ID Act, which requires states to meet minimum security requirements for their state-issued ID cards such as driver’s licenses. Some states, such as California, received an extension on complying with the rule. And the Department of Homeland Security granted airline passengers a waiver to continue to use their IDs from the non-compliant states past the Jan. 10 deadline.
Accepted forms of identification for granting a base visitor’s pass include a U.S. passport, any official ID card from any of the compliant states, Native American tribal documents and any Defense Department or federal ID card. VA identification cards, however, are not accepted, officials said.
Officials at White Sands Missile Range and Fort Leonard Wood -- both located in states whose IDs are no longer compliant -- announced through Facebook posts that they will continue to accept non-compliant ID cards if they are also presented with a supporting “identity proofing” document. Those documents include a U.S. military or draft record, social security card, U.S. citizen ID card or certification of birth abroad issued by the State Department, officials said.
Officials at Fort Leonard Wood said in a release that they will continue until Jan. 27 to issue one-time passes to visitors holding the no longer accepted IDs.
“On Jan. 28 no exceptions will be made and visitors without a compliant form of identification will not be granted access,” the release said.
--Amy Bushatz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.